The elderly woman walks through the field of baby coffee plants, watering them one by one. It’s been another bad year. She has worked here since she was a kid — she reckons she has done just about every job there is on the farm in Sonsonate, El Salvador — and remembers when every coffee plant would yield three baskets of seeds.
“Now, they’re small,” Yolanda del Carmen Marín says wistfully. “The harvest — it’s disappearing little by little.”
The decline of El Salvador’s coffee industry goes back decades and is the result of a lot of problems: the low price of coffee on the market, lack of investment in the farms, and agricultural pests. But farmers, agricultural experts, and environmental academics also point to another factor compounding the challenges: climate change.